CROOKSTON, Minn. - This spring, the Northern Great Plains Youth Institute returns to the University of Minnesota Crookston to present high school students a fantastic opportunity to put their talents and knowledge towards global crises. Presented by the World Food Prize Foundation, students from all over the midwest come together to address food security and agricultural issues, partake in hands-on scientific activities and discover new ways to make a difference in Minnesota and around the world. What better location to host other than a university with a legacy in education and agriculture, enter UMN Crookston. 

For those who are still unsure about participating, allow me to share a few inside perks of changing the world.  Aside from the prized connections made between student and global leaders and a number of prestigious internships, a scholarship to the University of Minnesota Crookston is also up for grabs! “The Northern Great Plains Youth Institute is a great opportunity for high school students to engage with local leaders and experts on critical global challenges, participate in hands-on activities while earning scholarship dollars”, said UMN Crookston Director of Outreach and Engagement, Michelle Christopherson. Participating students earn a $1,000.00, one time scholarship to the Crookston campus.  

Now that we have covered the why, let's cover how to engage.  First, find a global issue that you are passionate about and want to take action. Then, write a 2-3 page paper describing the challenge and your own solution to combat it (further details on our website). Next, submit your paper and register for the event at no fee required! Our goal is to focus on issues that improve human health, increase access to education and opportunity, protect the environment, and promote economic growth. The top contestants from each institute will be invited to the global event held every October in Des Moines, Iowa. There, you can open new doors and opportunities with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates.

This convention welcomes problem-solvers who believe everyone should have access to nutritious food, clean water, and education. For those who care passionately about our planet and want to fight to make it an equitable place for all, UMN Crookston awaits you and we can’t wait to be a part of your solution.

“We are looking forward to hosting the Youth Institute on campus again this year, currently our collaborating partners include: Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, Pine Lake Wild Rice Inc., and the office of Outreach and Engagement,” said Christopherson.

For more information about the youth institute, corporate partnership, or the Crookston campus, contact Michelle Christopherson at or 218.281.8369.

Attached, are photos: Grand Rapids High School Youth Institute team, 2018 

Story Contact: Shawn Smith - - (218) 281-8414